A crowdfunding campaign has raised the £2,500 in Home Office fees needed to reunite a Ghanaian mother in the UK with her 13-year-old son stranded in Ghana.
The fund was started on the initiative of Bethan Lant of the charity Praxis, who wrote about her client’s desperate situation on Free Movement last month.
Florence, a Ghanaian citizen with leave to remain in the UK, had left her son Emmanuel in the care of his aunt back in Ghana while trying to arrange for him to join her in Britain. When Emmanuel’s aunt passed away, there was nobody left in Ghana to care for him. Florence couldn’t move back there because another of her children has a life-threatening medical condition that could not be treated in that country.
That left a visa application for Emmanuel to come to the UK. The fee for that application, including Immigration Health Surcharge, is £2,523 — more than the family could afford.
But Bethan managed to persuade friends familiar with the work of Praxis and who had read her article to set up the crowdfunder. Organised by Erica Lang and Rosa Green, it hit the £2,500 target in just a couple of days.
Woke up to find that the target has been met, we can pay the application fees for Florence’s son! I can’t wait to tell her this on Monday. Thank you everyone who has donated or shared or cared. This will make a difference. X https://t.co/znz6fAstK6— Bethan Lant (@BethanAngharadL) November 30, 2019
The kindness of strangers gives hope to one family, but Home Office immigration and nationality fees continue to price many others out of their rights. In the same week, the department was in the High Court defending the £1,012 fee charged to register children as British. Application charges are set way above the administrative cost of processing them: the child registration fee alone has generated a surplus of almost £100 million in five years.